CHOP Pushes Back After Seattle Inks An ‘Agreement’ With Organizers To Shrink Protest
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 14: A signs reads "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" in area that has been referred to by protesters by that name as well as "Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, on June 14, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Black Lives Matter protesters have continued demonstrating in what was first referred to as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which encompasses several blocks around the Seattle Police Departments vacated East Precinct, but what protesters are now calling the "Capitol Hill Organized Protest." (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

Seattle has reached a “deal” with the organizers of the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” or CHOP to reduce the size of the demonstration by half and erect permanent, concrete borders — but not everyone is happy with the city’s decision or the city’s continued tolerance of the CHOP zone.

“The Seattle Department of Transportation is installing concrete barriers in the middle of Pine Street, running East and West, which will split the road for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. This will allow for emergency service vehicles to pass through the area,” Fox News reported Wednesday, noting that the “agreement” struck between Seattle and CHOP organizers reduced CHOP’s controlled area from six blocks to three.

The agreement also seems to make the CHOP a more permanent fixture.

The network added that it “has confirmed the agreement to replace the wooden barrier set in place by the protesters with concrete barriers with Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Police Department is not overseeing the concrete barrier being put in place.”

Just hours after the barriers were put into place, though, CHOP’s “residents” pushed the demonstration’s borders back to the original six-block radius, blocking thoroughfares the city had hoped would be made open to traffic, KGMI reports.

“Hours after the barriers were installed, KOMO News reports protesters blocked the lanes with some signs reading ‘Still our streets,'” according to local media.

“Seattle’s fire chief said the barriers were meant to protect protesters from people who may have wanted to drive through the crowd while still allowing residents access to an arterial road,” the outlet continued.

Protesters, on the other hand, saw the barriers as a method of marginalizing their protest, which is now in its second week and looking more permanent by the day.

Seattle has so far been supportive of the CHOP, with the city’s mayor calling the demonstration, “the summer of love” and implying that the protest was entirely peaceful. Residents of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, and business owners inside and adjacent to the CHOP say the “protest” is anything but peaceful.

Earlier this week, a local business owner said that police refused to respond to his pleas for help — including six separate calls to 911 — after a mob from CHOP descended on his shop because he’d caught a member of the demonstration attempting to burglarize and set fires. He was eventually able to diffuse the situation, but it became very clear that CHOP’s “drum circle” daytime atmosphere did not extend into the evening hours.

Other residents told local media that they’re “scared” to return to their Capitol Hill homes and frustrated with the city’s decision to allow the protest to continue.

“We’re not even here most of the time. I’m scared to live here. It’s just not conducive,” one resident said. “What you want from a home is a stress-free environment. You want to be able to sleep well, you want to feel comfortable and we just don’t feel comfortable right now.”

“Their complaints aren’t unique – we’ve received emails from many that say they have real concerns about living inside or near the Capitol Hill Organized Protest Zone – many asking to remain anonymous,” the outlet continued.

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